WKU Public Radio News Staff
Thu January 3, 2013
Speaker Stumbo Favors Medicaid Expansion in Kentucky
The Speaker of the Kentucky House says it’s a no-brainer for Kentucky to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.
Under the health care law, states can expanded their Medicaid rolls to 138 percent of the poverty line, with the federal government picking up the tab for three years.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has yet to decide whether Kentucky will expand, saying he will calculate costs after 2017, when the feds pay only 90 percent of the expansion.
But Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he's encouraging Beshear to commit to Medicaid expansion now.
“I think it would be a penny wise and a pound foolish not to find the money,” Stumbo says.
Republicans have called for a rejection of the expansion, arguing the state can’t afford the extra 10 percent costs in 2017 and beyond.
But Stumbo disagrees, saying the fact Kentucky receives more federal tax dollars than it pays means Medicaid expansion works for the commonwealth.
“It’d be foolish not to do it. We receive more, we’re a recipient state, we receive more back from the implementation than any other state in the nation, plus it covers somewhere around half a million Kentuckians who currently don’t have care so yes, I favor it,” he says.
Beshear says he’ll make a decision on expansion in a few months.